Before moving to Abbottabad, Osama Bin Laden lived in a village in nearby Haripur.
Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan the home of the Pakistani military academy. It is only about 40 mi from Rawalpindi, military headquarters in Pakistan which is located near the capital Islamabad. Osama’s home was across the street from the military academy and a police station.
Pakistani family members leave the area after viewing the walled compound of a house, seen in background, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Thursday, May 5, 2011. The residents of Abbottabad, Pakistan, seem to be confused and suspicious about the killing of Osama bin Laden by a U.S. military force, which took place in their midst before dawn on Monday. (AP/Anjum Naveed)
Osama’s wife said they lived in Haripur for years.
Investigators engaged in piecing together the life of Osama bin Laden since his dramatic escape from Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains have discovered the Al Qaeda chief had been living in Pakistan’s urban centres longer than they had thought.
They have also discovered that contrary to a widely held belief that the 54-year-old Al Qaeda leader required dialysis to treat his chronic kidney ailment, OBL was hale and hearty. The startling claims, according to two officials interviewed for this report, were made by Osama bin Laden’s 29-year-old Yemeni widow, one of the three widows in Pakistani custody.
Amal, according to officials familiar with the investigations, said that before moving to his sprawling compound in Bilal Town, Abbottabad, towards the end of 2005, Osama bin Laden had lived with his family in Chak Shah Mohammad Khan, a village in the nearby district of Haripur, for nearly two and a half years.
Chak Shah Mohammad, situated on the highway to Abbottabad, is two kilometres to the southeast of Haripur town.
In retrospect that meant, one of the officials observed, Osama had left the country’s tribal region sometime in 2003 to live in a settled area.
For years, since Osama’s disappearance in 2001 from Tora Bora to escape a US-led dragnet in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, both Pakistani and American officials believed that Osama was hiding in the tribal region straddling the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
“Imagine, this guy was living in our midst in Haripur and Abbottabad for seven and a half years and we all, both Pakistanis and Americans, had been looking for him in the wrong direction,” one official remarked.